Let The Governor Tell It

Finally, here it is. The event we’ve all been waiting for. The one we spent all Mardi Gras anticipating. No, not the first, second, or third Trump conviction, but Governor Jeff Landry’s special legislative session on crime. After much campaign blustering and racial dog whistling, Landry is coming through on his promise to do something special for the state of Louisiana. Get ready. At 1pm today, the specialness kicks off.

To be clear, this special session is not to be confused with the special session that just preceded it or the regular session that immediately follows it. Instead, this special, special session is set to do even specialer things. There are 24 items this special session asks legislators to specialize on. Underlying all 24 is one special theme: the state is just not locking enough people up in prison.

Gov Landry wants to roll back the clock

Dethroned by Mississippi as the state with the highest incarceration rate, Landry intends to put Louisiana back on its perch. To do so he leaves no demographic unturned. Men, women, and especially children are all on the board. So are the present prisoners seeking release.

The first step to making Louisiana number one again is simply making it harder for people already in prison to get out. Right off the bat, items 1 – 4 attack parole requirements. For example, Item 1 literally reads: “To restrict parole eligibility”. Item 4 dramatically changes parole eligibility. A simple majority vote by the board changes to requiring a unanimous vote.

And Item 2 deals with restricting the criteria for getting out on good behavior. As with parole, for those who do get out, Item 3 makes it easier to put them right back in. It recommends expanding probation and parole violations.

Gov Landry wants to roll back the clock

The second step to regaining the number 1 spot is increasing the pool of potential prisoners. Current  law considers people under 18 to be minors. However, Landry prefers that they identify as adults. But only for prison purposes. Item 11 requires the legislature to “lower the age of a person deemed a ‘child’.” In other words lower the age a child can be tried as an adult. And for those who can still identify as a child, item 12 expands “the list of crimes for which a child can be confined.” And item 5 revives the recently failed attempt to put their criminal records on blast.

Related: NOLA Complications from Jeff Landry

Throughout his campaign, Landry made it clear that fighting crime would be his main agenda. To him, Louisiana went soft under John Bel Edwards. Louisiana freed too many undeserving people . And Louisiana did not incarcerate enough deserving people. The result, according to his not-so-subtle ads, was a plague of black criminals sweeping through one parish after the other.

Now, to help make the citizenry feel safe again, Landry is proposing his most special specialty. He wants to make it easier for that citizenry to shoot people and get away with it. Under item 19, concealed carry gun owners get “immunity from liability.” That means they wouldn’t necessarily be liable for shooting people. And then,  item 18 removes the need for a permit to conceal carry. Call those the Vigilante Special. Item 13 extends the same immunity to police officers.

Legislators have two and a half weeks to consider all this specialness. Mark your calendars. February 19th to March 6th promises to be a special time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.